Monday, January 31, 2011

Review: The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

About fifteen pages into this book, I already disliked the main character, sixteen year old Tamara. She is  a snotty little bitch and the only reason I continued to read was because Tamara acknowledges this and constantly used the past tense: "I was nasty. I was not a nice person."  This use of the past tense gave me hope that she does indeed change and I was only able to continue with this hope in mind. I'm glad I continued with the story. Although I can't say I ever really warmed to Tamara to the point where I would say I actually liked her. I certainly hated her a lot less.

Tamara has lived a charmed, privileged life. She is someone you could imagine on one of those MTV shows like My Sweet Sixteen. The bratty, get whatever she wants, teenager. But something happens that changes the course of Tamara's life. Her father dies. And while she doesn't immediately change into decent human being, this loss is enough to make her think about more. More than her pathetic, materialistic existence.

After Tamara's father dies, his insurmountable debt leaves Tamara and her mother no other choice but to live with Tamara's Aunt Rosaleen and Uncle Arthur out in the Irish countryside. While some of us might find this idyllic Tamara, a Dubliner, sees it as a kind of death sentence, the death of her social life. Her only peers include the cute guy in charge of the traveling library, Marcus, and Wesley her Uncle Arthur's right hand man.

Tamara picks up a book from the traveling library which turns out to be a journal. Tamara's neighbor, Sister Ignatius, encourages Tamara to write in the journal to work out all her feelings about her father's death. But when she goes to write her first entry she finds an entry in her own handwriting...for the next day. Tamara is scared, angry and confused until the next day when everything in the journal proves to be true. Tamara uses the information in the journal to make changes in her daily decisions, decisions that begin to unravel a mystery about Tamara's past that will forever change her understanding of herself.

Ahern's writing is simply beautiful; there is no doubt about that. The only complaint I have about the actual writing is that the first part of the novel is mostly Tamara telling us readers everything versus showing. I know she's catching us up to speed on what's happened but I don't know how many times we reviews express disappointment in being told something by the characters instead of shown through dialog or actions, which keeps the book interesting. However, like I said, Ahern's writing is truly exceptional.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. My first impression was not good, I was gearing up for a negative review so I was making notes of all the issues I had with Tamara and while I continued to be frustrated with her attitude, I was sucked into the magic, mystery, and intrigue of the story. The Book of Tomorrow is a beautifully written story of family, love, loss, and self discovery.


Disclosure: I received this ARC from the publisher. I did not receive any compensation for this review.


  1. Ooh, I can't wait to read this...even though the main character used to be nasty! I'm not a fan of nasty main characters either. =) Thanks for the review sweets!

  2. Wow 4 strawberries even though you had a lot of trouble with the main character, there must be some good things going on in this book outside of her:) I do like the premise, it seems really interesting and I have no idea what I'd do if I found a journal like that. I'll keep this one in mind, thanks Mollie!

  3. I really wasn't sure I was going to like it b/c I disliked Tamara so much but it turned out to be an excellent read despite my initial contempt for the MC! Wena, I hope you enjoy it!

  4. Woooo, like the new look, Mollie :) It's simpler :) Seems like we're all aiming for something less busy!

    Wow, not loving the character, but the book still get 4 strawberries. Guess it's some good writing ;)


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